USA Yosemite, California 2000.05.27 - 05.28

Hiking in Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is located in the Sierra Nevada mountain chain near the middle of California. The most popular area is Yosemite Valley with well known natural wonders like Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, and El Capitan. Many tourists think Yosemite Valley is the entire park, when in fact the park extends about 60 miles east-west and 50 miles north-south. Wes and Masami went on a 16 mile day hike from Route 120 to the top of El Capitan with 3 friends. This was one of the more eventful hikes especially when Wes slipped off a log, fell in a stream, cut his arm, and bruised his butt.

Facts for the visitor
Yosemite National Park is only accessible by car or tour bus (and if you enjoy hiking at all, we wouldn't recommend the tour bus). Before driving to Yosemite, contact the Caltrans Road Condition Hot Line (Tel: +1-916-445-7623) to verify that the roads are open. Route 120 from the east sometimes stays closed the entire year because of snow or avalanche danger.

A park entry fee (US$20 per vehicle as of May 2000) is collected at ranger toll booths located at each of the 3 road way entrances to the park.

Most of the popular hikes are moderate and require nothing more than light hiking boots and 2 liters of water per person per day. Camping in the backcountry (not in proper camp grounds) requires a wilderness permit which can be obtained free of charge from a permit station near each park entrance. If you want a wilderness permit, get one early in the morning because the number of people allowed to camp in each area of the park is limited.

If you choose to park or camp illegally in Yosemite, be prepared to be woken up by a park ranger in the middle of the night and fined. Campground reservations during the summer months are highly recommended.

OK. This isn't Yosemite. It's near Yosemite.
Sunset over Mono Lake on Route 395 just north of the Route 120 junction that crosses the Tioga Pass into Yosemite National Park.

Masami at the top of El Capitan (we think). The opposite Yosemite Valley wall rises in the background as Masami completes the 8 mile hike from Route 120. Only 8 more miles back to the car!

HomePrevious PageNext Journal PageJournal Index 2000Journal Index 2001

  Copyright © 2000-2002   Wes and Masami Heiser.   All rights reserved.